Chapter 32

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"That's the thing about love. It's terrifying and fragile, and only the most courageous of people get to experience it the way it should be: Intense, consuming, and utterly life-changing."


I'm still coming to terms with everything that just happened.

The rage is still so prominent in my veins that I'm having a hard time suppressing it. That fire inside of me just wants to burn everything in my way to the ground.

Because I simply don't understand. I'm so utterly confused by the events of this day, my brain feels like it's about to explode from trying to make sense of everything.

"Mia..." Lincoln's voice makes me realize we're still in the zoo, and I suddenly feel like I'm in a terrible storm, fog and clouds surrounding me while I try to get clear vision.

He takes my hand, the familiar and yet so painful touch somehow jumpstarting my brain. I look up at him, facing those apologetic eyes with a sigh. I'm usually very good at crisis management, but this just demands so much of my attention that I can't seem to come up with a plan.

"Let me take you home, please," Link says, and I just nod at him, slowly coming to my senses.

I did say we needed to talk, and we really do. I don't intend to postpone any more talks. The truth needs to come out; I don't care which way.

And so we find ourselves in a dark blue Volkswagen only a few minutes later, the soothing hum of the engine somewhat calming my nerves. I look out the window, watching the roads pass by, just letting my mind run blank for a minute. But then I realize we're in an area I haven't seen for a while now, and I turn my head to look at Lincoln, his eyes firmly set on the road.

"I moved."

My words make him look at me, and he blinks a few times before he asks, "You did?"

I nod, not really wanting to discuss the topic further, "Yeah."

And I can see in his eyes that he knows the reason I moved out. It's pretty obvious, and not hard to figure out, especially for him. I don't want to get into the topic though; I don't want to relive it all.

After I give him my new address it's only a few more minutes until we arrive at my new apartment building. It's a small house with only four apartments in it, two of which are rented by elderly ladies. I have never seen the guy who lives in the other apartment, Dad said he's a nice man, though.

I open the door to my flat, the scent of vanilla candles still lingering in the air when I step inside. Lincoln is right on my heels, quietly closing the door behind us. And I don't know what it is, if it's the trusted space of my own home, or Link's presence right behind me, but the second I hear the click of the door I feel the tears streaming down my face, rage now turning into pure and utter sorrow.

A sob escapes my throat, and I immediately place my palm on my lips, trying to suppress the sound, unfortunately to no avail. When Lincoln places his hand on my shoulder I almost flinch, but I remember my therapist's words. I remember the exercises we agreed on.

And even though I haven't really seen him in two years, it still feels so familiar when he wraps his arms around me, his scent instantly invading my senses. I turn around and let him embrace me fully as I take deep breaths, my head resting on his chest while the tears keep flowing down my cheeks.

I don't remember the last time someone held me like this. Probably my dad when Pops died. I worked a lot on myself since then, worked on my emotions, on feeling them more intensely, on showing them better. Truth is, Lincoln wasn't the only one who had issues back then, it just took a while to see that.

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